This article takes up the figure of the DREAMer in the twenty-first-century Latinx memoir by the formerly undocumented to consider the coupling of the right to education with narratability. The author reads Alberto Ledesma’s Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer (2017), Reyna Grande’s The Distance between Us (2012), and Dan-el Padilla Peralta’s Undocumented (2015) as examples of the critical DREAMer memoir, foregrounding suppressed and subversive self-representation. Such self-fashionings are constrained by overachievement while still troubling the myth of meritocracy to determine deservingness of US citizenship. This trio of texts shows how school systems are mechanisms of coercive assimilation that reproduce a ranking regime wherein racial others are excluded or subordinated. Even as school environments can silence, they can also be safe havens for amplifying the human voice. The freedom of expression found in education marks a transformation of silence into advocacy. The present proliferation of critical DREAMer memoirs largely reflects a new shape of post-9/11 Latinx literature, as well as the subgenre of human rights and literature.

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